Greencastle Fort , County Down
Guarding the mouth of the lough , Greencastle Fort sits in brooding isolation about four miles southwest of Kilkeel, and its views alone are worth a diversion on any Ireland tours. Almost a "must see" attraction.
The fort is a comparatively well-preserved Anglo-Norman edifice , with a unique rock ditch , built in the same year (1261) as Carlingford Castle on the southern side of the lough.
After succumbing to several attacks from local Magennis clan , and falling to Edward Bruce in 1316 , it collapsed into complete ruin after the Cromwellian invasion and now only guards the farm across the road.
It's hard to imagine the fort's great fireplaces providing a counter blast to the buffeting winds that sweep across from the lough - you can feel their full force by climbing up the corner turrets to the top storey , where you can look down on the sandy beach below and enjoy tremendous views of the lough.
This is a real hidden gem on tours of Ireland and easily accessible on our extended Belfast tours.